ANN: renaming of master branch to "main" for core repository and submodules (dictionaries, help, translations)

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at
Thu Mar 18 16:07:41 UTC 2021

- There does not appear to be a consensus on the usage of the default brach 
name, at least as of now.
- I find the claim that all use of the word master is bad to be poorly argued.
- This mostly appears to be an ongoing internal problem of one country. As a 
technical project we should not be taking sides in such politics, especially 
given that the problem does not appear to be resolved or even having a 

On Thursday 18 of March 2021, Thorsten Behrens wrote:
> Lubos Lunak wrote:
> > I disagree with the plan. Git uses master, so we should stick with
> > that.
> Hmm. But someone else using outdated names shouldn't per se be a reason
> for us? Also it appears things are moving there, too.

- The name is not, at least as of now, outdated. As I've already said, the 
current name is 'master' and I don't see why GitHub or even LLVM should be 
authorities on that.
- Not changing a default in 9 months is not appearing to be moving. I guess 
that could have been already done if things were simple? I find it a valid 
technical reason not to do so if they themselves do not do it.
- If somebody else (not) doing something shouldn't be a reason for us, then 
why is it listed as a reason for us to do the change?
- There appear to be many other projects that are, at least as of now, not 
moving. It doesn't look to me that there's a consensus on this.

> > And that brings me to the non-technical part of this, because I
> > really don't see the reason for this.
> The reason is, that language evolves, and bad habits (or metaphors) of
> the past shouldn't be persisted, if we know they are offensive to
> others. lists ~20 meanings for the 
word, and there's only one of them marked outdated, and 5b, which is the one 
git uses, is not marked as bad, archaic, offensive, or anything like that. 
Similarly, I can find e.g. pages about getting Master's Degree in 2021 and 
various other uses of the other meanings for the word, which from here looks 
like it's fine to use them. On the other hand, the meaning related to slavery 
seems like a meaning that's obsolete. Now I'm not a native speaker and I 
don't live in an English-speaking country, so I may be getting something 
wrong, but then neither do you, so how come you should know this better?

 (FWIW, I find it offensive to get lectured on English by a German. Just 
saying. I consider getting occassionally, and often probably unintentionally, 
getting offended to be simply life.)

> Generally, our approach in the community should be - if it doesn't
> harm us [1], we should be considerate & welcoming.

 Then maybe we should consider the possibility that forcing one interpretation 
and not welcoming any other is not very considerate or welcoming.

> The feedback towards using master/slave (and other
> established-but-fraught-terms) was that it indeed is taken as offensive for
> some people.

 This is not about master/slave. This is about master (copy of a) branch, 
which has nothing to do with slavery, and you have provided very poor 
reasoning for changing anything there, and there's no apparent consensus on 
any of your claims. If I'm reading the ESC proposal correctly, this is 
basically a proposal from Germans living in Germany to take a side in 
cultural/political/language problem of another country. Which just doesn't 
make sense. If they sort it out, fine (I guess that may take a while, given 
that from afar it looks that the US currently can't agree on anything right 
now). But I don't see a good reason why we should take a part in that now.

 Lubos Lunak

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